42 Things You Should Have Done At The TECHNICAL University

Originally published at electrobabe.at.

I came across a list of 101 things you should have done during studies (German) recently and I thought, that it’s more of a list of fun things to do during your studies of social sciences but not so much technical ones. That’s why I made my own list*:

  1. Attend the lecture “Theory of Relativity 101” and frequently ask “Why?”
  2. Install games on your pocket calculator.
  3. Turn off your computer and try to research a current topic only with books from a public library.
  4. Try to wake up a professor, who fell asleep during your presentation with a sudden enthusiastic expression.
  5. Go to an exam about “Mathematical Logic” without preparation, because it’s “only logic”. Fail.
  6. Fall asleep during “Electrical Engineering” at 8 o’clock in the morning.
  7. Wake up during “Technical Mathematics” at 10 o’clock in the morning.
  8. Get offered a Schnaps by a professor, because he thinks you are too nervous.
  9. Get in a fight with a professor about the integrity of science.
  10. Bash social science because it’s not “real” science. Get convinced of the opposite.
  11. Get let behind in a laboratory after opening hours.
  12. Join a group of nerds.
  13. Spend 5 days in a row preparing for an exam and oversleep on the day it actually takes place because you are too tired.
  14. Go to the library for socializing and not for reading.
  15. Get old exams from the Student Council (Austrian: “Fachschaft”).
  16. Figure out far too late, that all the mathematical courses are easier at non-technical universities, than at your university and that you could have completed them there.
  17. Learn to read the cryptic handwriting of an eccentric professor.
  18. Disagree with your professor.
  19. Agree with your professor.
  20. Know at least the first 10 digits of Pi by heart.
  21. Make friends with the librarian of the technical library.
  22. Make friends with your favorite (grumpy) waiter at your favorite coffee house.
  23. Play hooky a lecture and discuss the matter with your fellow students.
  24. Write a technical paper and only use the feminine form.
  25. Attend an super important scientific conference at a very pleasant place such as Hawaii.
  26. Learn how to program. Even if you don’t study computer sciences.
  27. Let other fellow students copy from you during a course.
  28. Study a semester abroad at a university that is on the other side of the world.
  29. Don’t do anything for your studies for an entire semester. Really nothing. (Can be combined with 28.)
  30. Learn to use LaTeX — hate it first but fall in love with it later.
  31. Win a price for your master thesis and spend the price money with your friends in a bar.
  32. When a tutor discusses the wrong layout of your paperwork, try to convince him that it’s the printer’s fault.
  33. Correct a scientific Wikipedia article.
  34. Work as a tutor and teach freshmen.
  35. When you finished your thesis and still have some time left during the semester, take a random course because you paid for the whole semester.
  36. Take at least one course about “Soft Skills & Gender Studies”.
  37. Invite your thesis supervisor for a drink after your defensio.
  38. Spill your coffee over the “Maths Basics” book. On purpose. Alternatively burn it.
  39. Submit a paper containing only lorem ipsum for peer review to a scientific conference.
  40. Get good grades at the “Analysis II” exam, although you never ever will need it again in your life.
  41. Write a cheat sheet with formulas. Then write it again but smaller. And then smaller again. And again. Until you memorize it.
  42. Read The Hitchhiker’s Guide and use the number 42 as often as possible.

And what was the funniest thing you did at the university?

* I accomplished some of these things during the ten years at the Vienna University of Technology, others I suggest you do.

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Originally published at electrobabe.at on October 25, 2015.

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